World’s Finest Comics – 251


World’s Finest Comics – 251

General Info

Issue No:
251
On Sale Date:
March 1978
Cover Date:
July 1978
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
A Kiss of Death Times Three

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Jack Abel
Writer:
Gerry Conway
Penciller:
Jack Abel
Inker:
Ric Estrada
Letterer:
Jean Simek
Colourist:
Mario Sen
Editor:
Jack C Harris

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince/Princess Diana), Steve Trevor
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Poison Ivy (Lilian Rose), Redwood (Marc Legrand), Sumac
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
N/A
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This two part story is the final regular appearance by Wonder Woman in the title.

Synopsis

In an exclusive club in New York frequented by members of the nearby United Nations the British Ambassador entertains an attractive red head. As they toast each other the Ambassador asks her to remind him of her name again and she replies “Ivy”. As he orders another bottle of Don Perignon she unseen places a small green leaf on her starter. She tells him that her mother always said that it was bad luck to eat one’s parsley and she would hate to jinx the evening. He smiles and gallantly eats the ‘parsley on her behalf but immediately keels over, dead! As stunned patrons gather round and the police are called , Ivy slips away unnoticed…

Half an hour later Steve Howard and Diana Prince from UN Security arrive on the scene and a police officer asks them what all the fuss is about as it seems obvious the Ambassador died of a heart attack. Steve replies that the Ambassador had perfect health which makes him suspicious about the death.

As the body is stretchered out of the club Diana spots something still clutched in the dead man’s had and bends down to see what it is. She picks up what looks like a sprig of parsley but on closer scrutiny she realises it is actually called Aethusa Cynapium – otherwise known as fool’s parsley! It’s leaves look like garden parsley but is deadly to eat.

The next morning at the Security offices of the UN Steve and Diana discuss the case. Steve says that they have little to go on except the fact that a mystery woman fled the scene just after the Ambassador died. Diana replies that she has a bad feeling that this will not be the last incident. Steve responds that he hopes she’s wrong as they do not need a string of murders to deal with right now. Suddenly they hear a scream down the corridor and Steve tells Diana to follow him. She says that she will, but as Wonder Woman and she swiftly uses her lasso to change into her costume. As they race down the corridor together he tells her he will never get used to her doing that!

As they arrive at the Security Council Chamber, Wonder Woman smashes the door down and inside they find the Ambassador from Mozambique lying on the floor in a critical condition. Steve sees his lips are blue and deduces it is cyanide poisoning. As he tries to comfort the suffocating Ambassador and asks Diana to call an ambulance he sees her race into the lobby. Outside she sees a shadow and turns a corner to confront a mammoth creature made of petrified wood. The hulking beast punches her and sends her flying backwards in a daze. She knows that if she lets him hit her again she will be out for the count so she delivers a kick into the creature’s leg. It stumbles forward and she hits it again with a double fisted punch just as he hits her with his own fist.

The creature topples on top of her as she blacks out momentarily. A few moments pass as the two combatants slowly regain their senses. The tree creature gets to his feet first and leaves the woozy Amazon lying on the floor. Soon she too gets to her feet holding her head and spots a leaf lying on the floor. She decides to investigate this clue more closely but in the meantime she returns to check on Steve and the Ambassador. Unfortunately the Ambassador is already dead and Steve tells her it must have been a very fast acting poison. She in turn shows him the leaf and says that the killer has already poisoned two top level diplomats and that they will not stop there.

That evening at the Italian Embassy a diplomatic party is in full swing. As the Ambassador and his aide mingles with the guests he spots an attractive red haired woman across the woman beckoning him. The aide asks if he knows the woman but smiling, the Ambassador says that he has never seen her before but will certainly take the opportunity to make her acquaintance. Slipping into a private room away from the crowds she wastes no time in giving him a passionate kiss. He steps back in surprise and immediately clasps his had to his mouth before toppling over, dead.

Ivy quickly leaves the Embassy to her waiting limo outside and the driver asks if it is done. She replies ‘yes’ and as they speed off he asks if she is going to make her report to her employer now? She replies that she will just as soon as she gets out of the cocktail dress she is wearing. A few moments later Poison Ivy reveals her familiar green leaf costume and picks up the car phone. She speaks to another Ambassador on the end of the line, confirming that she has completed phase one and that all three targets are dead. She says that she is now on her way back to her refuge and he should meet her there in an hour.

A short while later the limo pulls into the grounds of the Bronx Botanical Gardens and the car enters one of the green houses where it parks. Poison Ivy is greeted by her cronies who congratulate her on a successful evening’s work. As she thanks him for his compliments another voice calls out, telling her that she has killed three men and has confirmed her reputation as a monster. They turn to see Wonder Woman appear from the undergrowth and Poison Ivy orders her men to kill the Amazon immediately!

As the thugs charge her she swiftly deals with them, explaining that Ivy’s Tree creature had left some muddy soil and plant shoots behind – tropical plant shoots of a kind only found in one area of New York – the Botanical Gardens! As she decks the last of the gang members she asks why Poison is here in New York as opposed to her normal base of operations in Gotham City. Just then the Limo driver pulls a gun out but the Amazing Amazon unleashes her lasso and swiftly ensnares him in its coils. With him in check only Poison Ivy remains and Wonder Woman tells her to surrender. But Ivy merely smiles and replies that the Amazon’s confidence is a trifle premature as she still has a few trump cards to play.

Suddenly the Tree Creature leaps out from behind a surprised Wonder Woman and grabs her in a crushing bear hug. As the Amazon Princess curses herself for forgetting about the hulking monster, Poison Ivy orders him to squeeze the life out of Wonder Woman as she explains to the struggling heroine that ‘Redwood’ as he is called was a former lover of Ivy’s. He tried to leave her and so she treated him to a special herbal compound containing elements of petrified wood. It changed him, destroying his mind but his love is now eternal and he will do anything for Ivy, including killing Wonder Woman!

The Amazon Princess knows she has to break free before she passes out completely and asks Hera for strength. With all her might she explodes out of his grip, snapping his wooden arms in doing so. As Wonder Woman leaps towards Poison Ivy though the villainess has one more trick up her sleeve and unleashes poison gas into the Amazon’s face. Wonder Woman crumples.

Some time later she wakes to find herself bound on the floor in a semi-darkened room. Her head aches and she guesses that the gas must have used a chloroform derivative. She looks around and sees a door ajar where light streams through. Through the gap she can hear voices and hears Poison Ivy speaking to an Ambassador of some sort. She says that she has done what he asked and now he must complete his part of the agreement. She wants the Cupid’s Root Herb which grows in his country..a herb which she can alter to produce instant, blind obedience in whomever tastes it. With it she will assure Batman’s everlasting love!

As Wonder Woman shuffles across to the crack in the door she sees the unknown Ambassador, whose back is turned towards her, explain to Ivy that she will have the herb although there is one final problem – Wonder Woman may be her prisoner by Steve Howard is still at large and may be a danger to them. Poison Ivy replies that Steve will not be a problem for long as she has taken steps to eliminate him permanently. On hearing this Wonder Woman gasps and swiftly snaps the ropes which bind her. She smashes the window of her room escapes, but in her haste fails to realise that her golden lasso is no longer clipped to her belt.

Hearing the noise, the Limo Driver races into the room to find the Amazon gone. But Poison Ivy calmly tells him not to worry as the Amazon has no doubt heard everything just as Ivy had planned and even now is on her way to rescue her precious Steve. Little does the Amazon Princess know that when she touches her lover he will die – and Wonder Woman will be his murderer!